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Flippin’ through Previews – July 2008

by  in Comic News Comment
Flippin’ through <i>Previews</i> – July 2008

It’s that time again, people. Why settle for the fifth variant cover of a Marvel comic? Let’s dig into Previews Vol. XVIII, #7. What treasures lurk within???

Dark Horse:

Man, there’s not a lot from Dark Horse this month that is really all that interesting. I mean, there’s the usual stuff, but nothing that leaps out at me. On page 32 (5 November) there’s a collected edition of Speak of the Devil by Gilbert Hernandez. It’s a hardcover, so it costs 20 dollars for 6 issues, but that might be something to check out. I lost interest in it after a couple of issues because it moved so slowly, but apparently it got a LOT better by the end, so the trade format might be the way to experience it!
The fifth volume of Rex Mundi shows up on page 41 (5 November). Fascinating story, stunning art – what’s not to love?
You could get an Umbrella Academy umbrella on page 50 (24 September), if you were one of those people who uses umbrellas. The solicitation claims that by the time it arrives, “we’ll be unearthing our sweaters and shopping for the latest rain gear.” Dark Horse, you’ll recall, is based in Portland. Here in the Basin we’ll still be swimming in the pool and hoping it gets below 100 by Thanksgiving.

DC:

It’s a Judd Winick book (well, half of one, as Bill Willingham is the co-writer), but I’m intrigued by Decisions #1-2 (page 58; 10 and 24 September). Assassination attempts on presidential candidates force some DC heroes to examine their own political beliefs. It could be excellent, or it could be a simplistic view of the heroes. I’m guessing it will be the latter, but the potential is there. Plus, it’s always nice to see Leonardi art.
People have brought this up before, but where does Final Crisis (page 59; 17 September) fit into the DCU at large? I mean, the solicitation makes it sound as if there’s simply nothing left of the Earth whatsoever. Is this going to affect all the company’s titles? If not, what’s the point?
Gail Simone fires up the long-awaited Secret Six ongoing on page 63 (3 September). Annoyingly, DC obscures the name of two members in the solicitation text. I don’t really care, but it’s still annoying. Anyway, Simone and Nicola Scott on this book should make it a winner. I hope.

Surprisingly enough, DC has an original graphic novel on page 69 starring the Joker (22 October). I’m not terribly interested even though it’s Azzarello and Bermejo, but it’s always nice to get graphic novels from DC, since Marvel abandoned them long ago.
Batman Chronicles vol. 6. Page 81. 8 October. What more is there to say?
I already own the single issues of Camelot 3000, but the “Deluxe Edition” hardcover offered on page 82 (26 November) tempts me. Barr’s story is good, Bolland’s art is spectacular, and there’s some extra stuff. If you don’t already have it, I recommend it highly, even at 35 bucks.
Yet another volume of Diana Prince: Wonder Woman shows up (page 83; 29 October), with what may be the greatest cover in history:

Of course it’s your fault, Diana!
Down on the bottom of page 83, you can get yourself an Omnibus edition of Kirby’s Demon series for 50 dollars (19 November). That’s not bad value.
Look! A third volume of Justice League International (page 84; 12 November)! Maybe DiDio doesn’t hate them as much as we think!
If you’ve been waiting for the softcover version of The Black Dossier, DC finally gets around to putting it out on page 98 (22 October). This was disappointing, but still better than a lot of what is out there. It is Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neil, after all.
I’m not sure if “The Family Man” story from Hellblazer has ever been collected, but it’s here now, on page 110 (22 October). I could go either way with Delano. What say you, old-school Constantine fans? Is this worth a look?
You wait-for-the-traders should pick up the first volume of Northlanders (page 113; 15 October). Wood hasn’t finished it yet, so I can’t say for sure that it’s excellent, but it has been so far. Plus, EIGHT issues for TEN dollars! Holy cow!

Image:

The preview art for Dead Ahead (page 136; 17 September) looks amazing, but do I really want to read another zombie book? I don’t like the zombie books that are out now!
Speaking of preview art, Max Fiumara’s on page 139 also looks amazing. It’s for the new series Four Eyes (page 138; 24 September), and it’s set in an alternate America during the Depression where dragons are real. It sounds pretty freakin’ cool, if you ask me.

You can never escape Youngblood (page 140; 24 September)!
Over in the Top Cow section of Image, we get Dragon Prince #1 by Ron Marz and Lee Moder. On the one hand, it doesn’t sound like something I’m terribly interested in. On the other hand, Marz did a good job with Samurai: Heaven and Earth, and I’ve always been a fan of Moder’s. We’ll see.

Marvel:

Okay, so Chris Claremont is writing a mini-series starring Japan’s biggest heroes, Big Hero 6 (page 18). It could be perfectly fine. But what’s with all the Japan love? I want to see Belgium’s biggest heroes! Or Paraguay’s! Or Khazakstan’s! Or San Marino’s! That would be awesome – see the Medicinator defend a postage-stamp-sized country on top of a hill from the threat of the new Burger King in the town square!
So the catchphrase of Secret Invasion is “Embrace Change” (page 36)? The only way the series would be any good is if Bendis is really saying that Barack Obama is a Skrull and this is all some kind of complex political allegory. Does Bendis want us to vote McCain? If Obama becomes president, will we all be taken over by shape-shifting aliens (Michael Savage certainly thinks so)? You be the judge!
Arthur Suydam really likes giant hands (page 53):

I’m not terribly sure if fans were clamoring for a hardcover version of Marvel Boy (page 101), but the God of All Comics and J. G. Jones give us a wonderfully insane series that remains as interesting now as it did a decade (or so) ago. It’s 25 dollars, which is a bit steep, but it’s sure to look great.
In other hardcover news, Omega the Unknown gets the treatment on page 102 for 30 dollars. That’s actually not bad, considering it’s ten issues. I’ve been waiting for the trade on this, so I might have to spring for the fancy edition.
Marvel is apparently releasing all those “Counter X” relaunches they tried in the late Nineties under one umbrella, because this time around it’s a trade of Generation X #63-70 (page 113). I actually own these issues, and they’re pretty good. Ellis and Brian Wood give us some solid stories, and Steve Pugh’s art is good, too.

Now, join me as we venture … into the back of the book! With a Tim Callahan cameo! How can you resist?

I think I’ll be skipping Jesus Hates Zombies from Alterna Comics on page 190, but I didn’t realize that Jesus hated the undead so much, considering he brought a dead person back to life one time.

SLG has the usual suspects, including a re-solicitation of Midnight Sun on page 192. It’s quite good, so you might want to check it out.

It’s 25 dollars and might therefore be too dear for you, but A-Okay Comics has a collection of The Myth of 8-Opus by Tom Scioli on page 198. I love Scioli’s work on Gødland, and this sounds like it has a similar vibe. Does anyone out there have an opinion on its goodness or lack thereof?

I’m really not buying the whole “Mothman” thing of West Virginia, but Return to Point Pleasant on page 200 from Ape Entertainment, which tells a story incorporating the whole myth, sounds kind of neat. I just worry when I see “various” where the artists should be.

There’s a trade of Black Summer on page 212 from Avatar. I read a few issues and was kind of torn about them. Has anyone been reading this? Is the trade worth checking out?

Gilbert Hernandez, Steve Niles, and Glenn Fabry work together … on a Simpson’s Treehouse of Horror comic (page 220, Bongo Comics)! How can you pass that up, people?

All-around swell guy Tom Peyer has a new comic, Galveston, from Boom! Studios on page 221. Pirate Jean LaFitte hangs out with Jim Bowie in Texas. Pirates and cowboys, man! How could it go wrong?

Now, I’m not entirely sure if the hardcover collection of The Lone Ranger is worth $75 (it’s on page 255 from Dynamite Entertainment), but if you can find it cheaper on-line somewhere, I would check it out. It collects the first 11 issues, the Free Comic Book Day issue, and a sketch gallery. It’s a very good comic, but seventy-five bones? I don’t know about that.

Tucked away on page 261 from Desperado Publishing is Exit: The Complete Series by Nabiel Kanan. The only thing I’ve read by Kanan is The Drowners (which is offered on page 264), and it was quite excellent. So I’m looking forward to this comic. Two friends are trying to figure out what happened to a friend of theirs who disappeared for 18 months and then reappeared. So many secrets! Oh, the drama!

On page 305, IDW has a collection of Violent Messiahs by Joshua Dysart and Tone Rodriguez. This is a raw but powerful work, and it’s a shame that it didn’t find a wider audience. It’s 25 dollars, but it’s pretty darned good.

You know, just when you thought you didn’t need any more Watchmen material, Titan Publishing has a new book, Watching the Watchmen, on page 331. Alan Moore wants nothing to do with any of this, but Dave Gibbons reveals all sorts of behind-the-scenes stuff. I dig behind-the-scenes stuff! Yes, it’s 50 dollars, but man! it looks cool.

Top Shelf always has, well, top shelf kind of stuff, and on page 346, we find Swallow Me Whole, a love story that sounds absolutely wild. It has schizophrenia, OCD, hallucinations, and animal telepathy. Come on – animal telepathy, people!

Now that Brian has joined Wizard magazine in spreading the love for Valiant, I wonder if I should splurge on the three hardcovers they offer on page 348. They’ve already offered Harbinger and X-O Manowar, and now they have Archer & Armstrong. They’re all 25 bucks, so I’d probably be better off digging through back issue bins, but those are tempting.

It appears, from page 352, that Gamekeeper is an ongoing series. Virgin doesn’t really make it clear in their section, but issue #6 is the first of a two-part story about Brock’s son. As long as Jeff Parker is writing this, I’ll be checking it out.

As we delve deeply into the back of the book, we find on page 385 that the first part of Tim Callahan’s magnum opus about the God of All Comics, Grant Morrison: The Early Years, is offered again. Well, I guess this is the first time it’s been offered in Previews, but I seem to recall Tim mentioning on his blog that this is the second printing and includes some new material. I’m really looking forward to this, not only because it’s about my favorite writer and some of his best stuff, but also because Callahan is way smarter than I am, and maybe reading his book will make me smarter!

And so we come to the end of another trip through Previews. I hope you found it helpful!

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